Aussie Bird Likes to Get drunk

Adelaide lorikeets flock to this park every year.

You can hardly go anywhere in Australia without hearing the familiar shrieking of the rainbow lorikeet. Beautiful to look at with their array of colourful feathers but extremely hard on the ears, the rainbow lorikeet can sometimes be considered a pest.

The rainbow lorikeet is perhaps one of the most common of our native birds and is found in every state in Australia. Recently, however, lorikeets have caused quite a stir in one particular state.

“They chattered incessantly and chased their reflections into windows,” noted National Geographic writer Roff Smith.

In Adelaide's Botanic Gardens, lorikeets have been acting somewhat rowdier and louder than usual. This is because the lorikeets that are congregating to these partciular gardens, are in fact, drunk.

Hundreds of rainbow lorikeets have flocked to the gardens to drink the fermented crimson flower nectar from the Weeping Boer-bean tree (Schotia brachypetala).

The tree more commonly and aptly referred to as the Drunken Parrot Tree blooms in late Spring to early Summer. The lorikeets gorge on the fermented nectar before it falls to the ground. The wood pigeons in New Zealand, known as the kereru, have a similar addiction, as they flock to the fruit rotting on tree branches before it falls to the ground.

Fortunately, for lorikeets and the kereru, they do not seem to suffer hangover symptoms the next day.

Lead Image: National Geographic

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